Context: In India, snake prone villages or areas where snakebite deaths are common, people use phenol (carbolic acid) in a commercially prepared liquid solution beside the home and doorways. The form is usually drop or a moistened bit of cotton. Many believe it repels snakes and keeps them out of the house. It also part of a long tradition.

For notability, the following article notes this as a given.

Phenol (carbolic acid) is one of the oldest antiseptic agents. Apart from being used in many commercially available products, in rural India, it is often used in the household to prevent snake infestation.
Acute carbolic acid poisoning: A report of four cases

Is there any study that shows carbolic acid actually repels snakes, meaning, can keep them out of an area effectively? I'm not talking about accidental burns on a snake's skin, which seems quite improbable to occur from just few drops.

  • 2
    We usually require a link to a "notable" source making the claim. People not in India are probably unaware of phenol's extensive use as a snake repellent. I found the following article that studies phenol poisoning and notes as a given that this practice is common in India. That's notable enough for me.
    – fredsbend
    Sep 4 '19 at 19:59
  • 2
    Further notability, conflicting answers on Yahoo
    – fredsbend
    Sep 4 '19 at 20:33

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